Review: Qbeh-1: The Atlas Cube

Qbeh-1: The Atlas Cube by Liquid Flower is a 3D obstacle course set in an abstract cube world floating in mid-air. The puzzles are about exploring and getting past difficult terrain, which is done by using different types of placable cubes (some act like simple stepping stones, some as vehicles, and some in other ways). These cubes allow for some creative climbing (and some equally creative mistakes if you’re not careful…). There are no dangers other than that of falling — or stepping on the wrong cube.

Physical checkpoints are found in-game at regular intervals. They need to be manually activated, so don’t forget doing that if you’ve just done a particularly challenging puzzle and don’t want to go through it again. The difficulty builds up slowly, so you will have plenty of time to get used to each new type of cube — or get a little bored: because of the slow build-up, things did get a little samesame after a while. New things are introduced throughout to help make things feel fresh, but there is basically only one type of puzzle, so your enjoyment depends on you liking that one type. Liking cubes also helps. There is some pretty cool stuff, especially later, but it takes some time to get there.

There’s no story unless you make one up yourself (building on whatever you might find). The environments look deserted and some decay has already set in, but they do also hint at some form of conscious or even humanoid presence, with trees, waterfalls, and flowerbeds still being maintained (or having just recently been maintained). There’s not much to be marvelled by, but that is also not the point. This place has more of a low key beauty, and you are, after all, here to solve puzzles — and you’ll get plenty of that, so misson accomplished. Also, take a closer look at the leaves on the ground for a bonus mystery.

The game glitched out on me once: an effect allowing me to jump higher wasn’t reset when it should have been. This wasn’t a gamestopper in any way, rather the opposite, because it meant I could climb up where I wasn’t supposed to be and feel like such a rebel. I also bypassed a whole section, although I could have gone back, but I was a little bored at the time and needed something out of the ordinary to happen, so I didn’t. There is some hidden content to reward the explorer, but none providing the same feeling of breaking the rules. This isn’t that kind of game, but more like one of those fidget toys or stimming gadgets you might use to quiet your overactive mind for a while. I should add, though, that there is an extra level to unlock, which I haven’t done yet (me getting there is a work in progress (stalled, but started)), so maybe the craziest outside-the-box bits are still left for me to discover.

This wasn’t the most challenging puzzle game and I did get a little bored from time to time, but, over all, I had some fun and relaxing times with it. There is also a built-in editor for longevity, which is always a great bonus. I haven’t tried any of it yet, but others have, so there are quite a bit of extra content to try if you want more.

Game’s website

I remember how I as a kid liked sitting with a slider puzzle (4×4), but it wasn’t so much a thing of solving it as it was just going through the motions of moving the tiles around — or take the Rubik’s cube: I never cared enough to learn how to solve it, but I still liked to fiddle with it and create nice looking patterns.